You would mostly read about how to lose weight and keep the flab off the body on my website. Very rarely you’d see me giving you tips on how to gain weight.
But I know there are a lot of young boys and girls out there who are trying to gain weight and doing it in all the wrong ways. Sure you can eat all the cheeseburgers, ice-creams, lollies and pizzas out there, and you might just start to gain weight, but this is not the best way. You might start to see a negative impact of this cholesterol-laden food later down the years.
Why Junk Food Is Bad In This Case
Whether you’re a sports athlete or a stage performer, the goal is to gain weight while optimising health, and there’s a science to it. Nutrients from food are literally the raw materials your body uses to construct new cells. A junk food-filled diet devoid of nutrients doesn’t give your body very little to work with, so imagine if you only ate junk food to gain weight. It’s not just about calories, it’s about the nutrients (how much fat, protein, carbohydrates and iron) you are putting in your body for it to grow.
How You Can Gain Weight
- Eat more food groups together: When planning your meals, aim for at least three food groups on your plate. Say for instance, if you’re planning a snack, instead of just a banana or handful of nuts, have a piece of toast topped with some natural peanut butter and banana slices chopped on top. Have a small glass of dairy or a protein-rich substitute (hemp or almond milk) on the side. This will give your body a variety of nutrients to work with.
- Eat every three hours: This is a general rule to maintain metabolism as well, but in this case, your body needs a continuous supply of energy hence why you need to follow it more consistently. When you skip meals, you deprive your body of the fuel it needs to keep going, hence why it tries to gain the energy from muscle mass. The best way to prevent your body from losing any important tissue is to eat regular meals, spaced about three to five hours apart. If you’re trying to gain new muscle tissue, meal timing is especially critical.
- Eat nutrient-dense food: Because you need to be loading up on extra nutrition while trying to gain weight, choose nutrient-rich foods to pack on carbohydrates, protein and fat without having to eat large portions. A great example of this is dried fruit – make sure you look for ones without added sugar or preservatives. For another nourishing, power-packed snack, fold rolled oats, dark chocolate chips and any minced dried fruit into almond butter – spoon out portions about the diameter of a quarter, roll them into little balls, wrap in wax and paper, and snack on them throughout the day.
- Eat right before bedtime: Our body undergoes a lot of our healing, repairing and regeneration while we sleep. It’s like rush hour for building muscle and lean tissue, so eating a healthy meal or snack right before bed ensures a fresh supply of nutrients that are available for the body to work with. Don’t have a big meal right before bed as that might make you uneasy, but consider something small but nutrient-heavy. For example, a small bowl of quinoa or whole-wheat pasta salad with olive oil and shredded veggies. Add some protein by sprinkling some trail mix or some goats cheese on top.
Have you ever tried to gain weight? What’s your nutritional tip to gain weight in a healthy manner?